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October 12, 2020
Covid-19 has proven that, for the most part, people can work fairly effectively from home. Yet far from spelling the end of the office, it will instead permanently alter our perceptions of how we use it and what purpose it serves. Those are the thoughts of Paul Woolvine, IOBAC Ltd. CEO, who believes that a shift toward a more flexible, agile office has been a long-time coming and only accelerated due to the global pandemic. “Now is a time of opportunity for the built environment; a time to rethink the offices we want in society; and a time to opt for inherently more flexible solutions.”
So, what will that mean in practical terms? “I don’t think, as some people have suggested, that we’ll return to 80s-style cubicles. That would be a real regression. Instead, desks in rows may well be replaced by spaces for collaborative working and culture building, such as areas for training, induction, collaborative work, social events, networking, and conferences. Moving forward, these are surely the sorts of activities that will suit offices best. Offices spaces will also become more varied with more spaces to meet, eat, exercise, and unwind.”
And how will flooring help to facilitate this step-change? “Aesthetics always has and always will be a key driver and a range of different top-coverings and patterns to stylishly segregate these different spaces will be vital to achieving that. Business may have a space for relaxing and refreshments, meeting spaces, desks, and quiet spaces all on the same floor. Each of these separate spaces will need its own look and feel and use materials suited to its purpose. Flooring is, of course, a key part of that. A meeting space may need carpet tiles, the social area a timber finish, and the co-working space LVT, for example. It can sometimes be tricky to fit these different flooring materials together seamlessly using traditional installation techniques. Read More